On January 14th the New Zealand cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia suffered a major security breach. We will post the Cryptopia hack updates here, as and when we receive them.

Cryptopia exchange hacked

The initial statement is still available on the home page of their website:

Important Announcement

14th January 2019, the Cryptopia Exchange suffered a security breach which resulted in significant losses. Once identified, the exchange was put into maintenance while we assessed damages.

Cryptopia has notified and is cooperating with the appropriate government agencies, including the NZ Police and High Tech Crimes Unit. 

The New Zealand Police and Special crimes Unit released the following statement:

Tuesday, 15 January 2019 – 9:50pm

Police were advised late yesterday of an issue involving potential un-authorised transaction activity at the Christchurch based crypto-currency trading company Cryptopia. 
 
A significant value of crypto-currency may be involved and Police are taking this very seriously.
 
We are currently talking to the company to gain a further understanding of what has occurred.
 
A dedicated investigation team is being established in Christchurch including specialist police staff with expertise in this area.
 
Police are also liaising with relevant partner agencies in New Zealand and overseas.
 
The investigation is still in its very early stages and police are unable to provide further information tonight
 
We expect to provide an update tomorrow. 
 
ENDS
 
Issued by Police Media Centre. 

Cryptopia hack updates

Cryptopia hack updates

With the main website being in maintenance mode, the Cryptopia hack updates have been added to their initial tweet thread

The New Zealand Police have issued a first cryptopia hack update  on their website, :

Wednesday, 16 January 2019 – 7:30pm

The investigation into the alleged unauthorised transaction of cryptocurrency at the Christchurch company Cryptopia has continued today.
 
The inquiry is still in its very early stages and police are continuing to work with Cryptopia to establish what has happened and how.
 
Police are not yet in a position to say how much cryptocurrency is involved, other than it is a significant amount.
 
A large team, including Canterbury CIB and specialist staff from the police High Tech Crime Unit, have been assigned to the case.
 
There has been a visible police presence at the company’s Colombo Street headquarters throughout the day as police take the steps needed to progress the investigation. 
 
While police are unable to go into details about specific steps being taken at this stage, we can say that our focus includes commencing both a forensic digital investigation of the company, and a physical scene examination at the building.
 
We are dealing with a complex situation and we are unable to put a timeframe on how long the investigation may take.
 
We are also aware of speculation in the online community about what might have occurred.  It is too early for us to draw any conclusions and Police will keep an open mind on all possibilities while we gather the information we need.  
 
A priority for police is to identify and, if possible, recover missing funds for Cryptopia customers; however there are likely to be many challenges to achieving this. 
 
We would also like to make clear that Cryptopia are cooperating fully with the investigation team and a media report that police ‘stormed’ the building today is entirely incorrect. 
 
Anyone with information which could assist the investigation can contact police by email 
 
ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre.

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Statement from NZ police 22/01/2019:

Police making progress in crypto-currency investigation

National News

Police continue to investigate the unauthorised transfer of crypto-currency worth a significant sum from Christchurch-based crypto-currency trading company Cryptopia on 13-14 January 2019.

Good progress is being made and positive lines of enquiry are being developed to identify the source of the transfer, and to identify where the crypto-currencies have been sent. The assistance of the crypto currency community is being sought as the investigation progresses.

This is a very complex investigation, involving expert digital forensic investigators from within New Zealand and in various overseas jurisdictions, as well as overseas authorities.

Members of the investigation team met with Cryptopia management and staff yesterday and today and outlined progress in the investigation.

Cryptopia management and staff have been co-operating with Police and providing considerable assistance in the investigation.

The investigation is expected to take some to time complete, and the digital forensic team will be on-site at Cryptopia’s premises for some days to come.

Anyone with information which could assist the investigation can contact police by email 

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

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Canterbury

Please attribute to Detective Inspector Greg Murton:

The Police investigation into the Cryptopia hack and theft of cryptocurrency is progressing well and advancing on several fronts.

The focus is on identifying those behind this offending and retrieving the stolen cryptocurrency.

This is a complex investigation involving the theft of cryptocurrency in an unregulated environment.

The stolen cryptocurrency is being actively tracked by Police and specialists worldwide due to the nature of the cryptocurrency blockchains being publicly available.

Excellent progress is being made in the investigation and we are working with Cryptopia management plus current and former employees who have been providing valuable assistance.

We are working closely with our international partners and cybercrime experts to continue the investigation.

Cryptopia’s managers are on site at their Christchurch address and Police are expected to finish at the premises by the end of next week (Friday 15 February).

This investigation is expected to take a considerable amount of time to resolve due to the complexity of the cyber environment.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

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Related news on Cryptopia hack updates:

The CEO of Binance was alerted in a tweet to the fact that the hackers had transferred some of the stolen funds to Binance accounts. His response was excellent, and another sign of the pro-active approach he holds high.